CVB News

Can Generation Z Save the Humanities?

They’re activists at heart. But can GenZ save The Humanities?

The decades-long debate over the value of a liberal arts education has recently been reignited, stoked by the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point plan to eliminate 13 humanities and social science majors in favor of funding more “productive” programs. Following decades of declining enrollment in the humanities, some policymakers argue that funding at public institutions should solely support STEM and business-related pursuits – majors that are seemingly more directly tied to employability and private sector needs.

Impassioned supporters of the humanities counter that many of the most productive and successful citizens began their academic lives with rigorous study of history, literature and the arts. They see a combination of skills drawn from the humanities, social sciences, business and STEM as vital to design and implement fully informed solutions for socio-economic progress, and to intelligently address complex world issues.

Humanities-or-not is a hot topic at family dinner tables, too. Stung by recession and highly debt-averse, Generation Z and their parents are much more likely to look at higher education through a cost-to-benefit lens and weigh an institution’s value through metrics like career preparedness and employability. Yet we also know that Z’ers are globally focused, motivated to solve societal problems at the root cause, and embrace diversity and cultural understanding – areas where the humanities play a vital role.

As higher education seeks to bridge the divide, we see that some of the most innovative solutions aren’t limited to an either/or scenario – they satisfy both schools of thought.  Forward-thinking colleges and universities are making the humanities a requirement of business degrees. Others offer students the flexibility to design-a-major, allowing self-directed, entrepreneurially-inclined GenZ students to combine studies that include the humanities, social sciences, business and STEM.

Across the academic spectrum, CustomViewbook helps higher education succeed in the balancing act. Aiming to address real-life concerns and nurture youthful aspirations, we work with clients to curate their offerings and show prospective students the possibilities ahead.

Beginning with the CustomViewbook wizard, student prospects set out on a path of exploration that’s as broadly or narrowly focused as they like. Once Academic and Student Life selections are made, each newly-qualified lead is immediately connected to content that’s crafted to reveal the realistic benefits of advanced learning.

We help every step of the way with options that add a practical focus to academic subjects, such as call-outs that underscore available internships and externships, along with companies who hire alumni – information that can transform a possible major into a real career path. In each Student and Campus Life section, we help clients showcase the resources, clubs and organizations, cultural events, athletics and more that make their institution special – aspects that can make all the difference in a student’s decision-making. The More Info section includes information students (and parents) need to know to take steps toward application, including costs, financial aid, scholarships, visiting campus and more.

By taking a deep dive into CustomViewbook content they select themselves – brought to life through photos, graphics, videos and authentic student stories – GenZ students are able to make the connection between their dreams, their realities and their college choices. When their natural interest in the humanities works hand-in-hand with the need to actually earn a living, the future looks especially bright.

Let’s talk about CustomViewbook’s ability to make a liberal arts education relevant in ways that resonate with GenZ. You’ll achieve more than upcoming admissions and enrollment goals – you may be preparing a generation of humanities advocates to take on the challenges of tomorrow.

Experience CustomViewbook for yourself – client demos are now online!

 

 

 

Speaking GenZ: Looking good, hypebeast.

With a GenZ signature mix of confidence and self-awareness, 18-year old actress Yara Shahidi schools Stephen Colbert in youthful lingo. The Blackish and Grown-ish star explains that she recently learned a “hypebeast” collects popular up-and-coming brands for the sake of seeming cool – perhaps in excess. But she’s not throwing shade, just noticing – and “using it as much as possible.”

Curiosity and acceptance are hallmarks of GenZ, and Shahidi makes it clear she’s not passing judgment on the hypebeasts of the world. Giving props to her 14-year old brother’s superior trend awareness and sharing a Grown-ish clip that pokes fun at her college freshman character’s social media-as-self persona, just a few minutes with Shahidi reveals a range of insights into the GenZ experience.

But perhaps the most telling is how Shahidi planned to celebrate her 18th birthday: a voting party. The surge in activism among Generation Z suggests a wave of student prospects focusing on results and holding high expectations for their futures. Far from disengaged, they’re encouraging each other to be part of the solution and make a difference – for the world and for themselves.

Are you meeting student prospects’ demands for self-determination? CustomViewbook can help you meet GenZ expectations for college search content that resonates with their personal needs and desires, putting each prospective student in control of what they explore and how they make contact. Together, we can bypass the hype to create genuine connections between your institution and future students.

Let’s Talk

The mobile natives aren’t restless. They’re hyper-connected.

While their millennial siblings may be the pioneers who blazed trails with mobile phone in hand, GenZ is the first truly mobile native generation. For student prospects who grew up with connected devices within reach, instant access to information at all times is expected, and judgment can be swift. With a lifetime of practice bouncing rapidly from one subject to another, hyper-connected GenZ uses their cell phones for everything from staying in touch with friends to confidently navigating unfamiliar territory – like their futures.

Think about it: more than 80% of your GenZ prospects will be using a smartphone when they first search your school’s website. Nearly the same percentage say the school’s website influences their perception of a school, making their experience at initial inquiry a critically important touch point to compel engagement and give them confidence in your school’s ability to meet their needs.

So, how can higher ed successfully engage GenZ prospects from the start? By helping each mobile native focus on what really matters during their college search. Linked to from your website, CustomViewbook provides a user experience specifically designed with GenZ in mind. As a student prospect creates a digital Viewbook featuring information she chooses herself, she begins exploring how your school fits into her plans and dreams, including academic subjects, campus life, financing, future job prospects and more.

The result is a personalized resource that instantly makes each student prospect feel seen, heard and connected. And because their interests have been captured for your database, and will continue to be updated upon revisits, you’re in a better position to assist their journey.

That’s a hyper-promising way to start finding the right fit for both of you.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo.

CustomViewbook And Mongoose Are Partnering!


CustomViewbook is teaming up with Mongoose to make the start of the college search journey more empowering and user-friendly for prospective students – and recruiters.

With the overwhelming amount of research indicating that texting is the preferred communication channel of Generation Z, our decision to integrate the Mongoose SMS platform into the Digital Viewbook platform was an easy one to make. Not only do students want to text, but our higher education clients also want to increase real-time communication with student prospects. It’s a win-win situation.

“Texting has allowed us to reach students on a regular basis,” says Robert Wyant, Director of Undergraduate Admissions from The College at Brockport who has implemented both CustomViewbook and Mongoose. “The engagement has allowed us to answer student/parent questions in real-time in an environment that a prospective student may be more comfortable interacting in. Mongoose has been very user-friendly; so much so that we created an account for all of our traveling advisors, which has worked well thus far.” 

Our partnership with Mongoose provides our clients with an immediate ability to send CustomViewbooks via text – and we’re thrilled that the communication doesn’t have to stop there. With Mongoose, students can get instant gratification on their questions/concerns, and clients will be able to have meaningful conversations with these students beyond the application/enrollment process and throughout their entire student-to-alum experience.

“Going All-In On Prospective Students” Webinar is Available!

 

The 2nd of our ENGAGE Z webinar series, “Going All-In On Prospective Students: How To Improve Your Web Content Strategy” is available.

Our presenter, Tony Rose, Partner and Executive U/X Strategist at Digital Wave Technologies, has generously made a copy of the presentation available to anyone interested. We also have a recording of the presentation we can share with you.

Please contact Mary Pannullo at mary.pannullo@customviewbook.com to request these materials.

To Your Success – and a Happy Thanksgiving, too!

Don’t Miss out! Free Webinar: How To Improve Your Web Content Strategy

Mark Your Calendars!  As part of our ENGAGE Z Webinar series, we will have a presentation of
“Going All In on Prospective Students: How to Focus on Your GenZ Users Without Alienating Everyone Else.”

Hear from Executive UX Strategist and Partner at Digital Wave Technologies, Tony Rose.
With Tony, and our own James Horigan, EVP of CustomViewbook onboard, a depth of good information and insights will be shared! And, we’ll leave plenty of time for Q&A.

Thursday, November 9 at 11:45AM
See more and be sure to Register Here!
  https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/2455902543396447235

 

 

 

James Horigan Appointed To Tech Advisory Committee …

Auburn High School

James Horigan, EVP of Antech Systems Inc., and our fearless leader at CustomViewbook, was recently appointed to the Auburn, Alabama High School Tech Career Program Advisory Committee. James will help provide the insights and expertise to ensure that Auburn’s Tech Career Program is providing high schools students with relevant technology courses and skills to be prepared for future success. He will also participate in helping to forge productive relationships between the Career Tech Program and the Auburn business community.

This appointment will also continue to help us glean insights into how Generation Z uses and adopts technology in the classroom, and while self-educating. A topic the CustomViewbook continues to be passionate about!

 

NACAC Boston Was A Trip!

James and I really enjoyed meeting many of you in Boston.
We got into some great, engrossing conversations – just what James and our friend, Brad Durschlag of Trinity University of San Antonio, are doing in this photo. 

Some of you were surprised by the level of interactive experience CustomViewbook provides prospective students.  This “mobile first” and fully interactive platform engages students with embedded videos, links and features like photo viewers and more info callouts. They can select all the information they need and want about your academics, student life, career opportunities, financial aid, and more. The platform presents content that is beautiful and responsive for mobile, and across all device screens. Instantly, students can view their personalized digital viewbook on their smartphone, tablet or laptop! They can even connect with Admissions via text, schedule a visit, or apply.

Clients get the most highly-qualified prospect profiles available. The CustomViewbook platform effortlessly captures highly-qualified prospect profiles, including a significant percentage of out-of-state and international prospects. You’ll have the data and analytics you need to better focus time and resources on the prospects who are most likely to apply and to become enrolled. Print campaigns become more targeted, efficient – and much less costly. Results have been powerful.

So, if we didn’t have a chance to meet at NACAC, please check out our brief video demo and send in a demo request, or you can just email me at Mary.Pannullo@CustomViewbook.com

I can’t wait to show you what CustomViewbook can do for you!

Cheers,

Mary

ENGAGE Z Webinar Available!

The first of our newsletter / webinar series, ENGAGE Z: What Matters in Online Communications for College Admissions Professionals has gotten great feedback from college admissions folks from all over North America.

We’re excited – and want to share! If you’re interested in a copy of the presentation, please contact Mary Pannullo at mary.pannullo@customviewbook.com

Onward – to your Success!

 

The College at Brockport is Launched!

We’re thrilled to have The College at Brockport, State University of New York, onboard as a new client. Founded in 1835, Brockport has a rich history and many current notable achievements. Brockport has been voted the among the “Best in Northeast Colleges” and “Green Colleges” by The Princeton Review, and among “America’s Best Colleges” by the US News and World Report.

The College offers 50 undergraduate majors, 50 graduate programs and 18 areas of teacher certification and combined bachelor’s/master’s programs. Brockport offers one of the nation’s largest Study Abroad programs, a variety of internships with major corporations, 23 NCAA intercollegiate athletic teams, arts and cultural events, and more than 60 clubs and organizations. Among its faculty are several Fulbright scholars, three Distinguished Professors, and a winner of the 2007 Flannery O’Connor award for fiction. Whew!

Robert Wyant, Associate Director of Admissions, is enthusiastic, “We are very excited to launch our CustomViewbook program this fall. We feel that delivering information that students actually want to learn about is important in today’s generation.”

Stay tuned. Great results are in the makings!